'No Party Preference' voters decline in California as political polarization increases, data shows

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
'No Party Preference' voters decline in CA, data shows
California, along with the rest of the country, is becoming more partisan as new data shows the number of voters registered with "No Party Preference" is shrinking.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- With the 2024 presidential election less than a year away, a new report from the California Secretary of State shows the changes happening with the state electorate.

The data shows that for the first time in years, the number of voters registered with "No Party Preference" is shrinking, while the numbers of both registered Republicans and Democrats have both grown since 2019.

"We always have to think about the fact that there are environmental factors like what's happening in our culture, what's on the news, what's on social media. And then there's mechanical factors," said Paul Mitchell.

Mitchell is the vice president of Political Data Inc., a bipartisan voter data firm.

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Mitchell says one of those mechanical aspects is the fact that California does a better job than most states in getting people registered to vote.

"California definitely, especially in 2018, made it much, much easier to register and much easier to stay registered," he said.

Beyond that, Michell says increasing polarization in our society as a whole likely also contributes.

He says in recent years both parties have rallied their respective sides around issues like trans rights and abortion to drive voter turnout.

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"It wasn't just a flash in the pan that it happened just in the election immediately after the Dobbs decision, but it has extended to this midterm election and I would hazard a guess it's going to extend to the 2024 election," Mitchell said.

California voters aren't alone either.

Across the country, polls have shown Americans are becoming increasingly partisan.

A trend that Mitchell says likely won't reverse any time soon.

"Nationally, I think that the culture has gotten more partisan, especially around the presidential races," Mitchell said.

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